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Broc Parkes fended off stiff opposition to take provisional pole position for the ninth round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Brno, less than six hundredths ahead of Sam Lowes and Jules Cluzel.

The Ten Kate Honda rider moved ahead in the closing stages of the session with a time of 2min 03.440secs, Parkes's effort just enough to see off Lowes and Cluzel, the PTR Honda pair a respective 0.041secs and 0.055secs adrift.

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Indeed, that lap could prove crucial since rain is forecast to descend on Brno over the course of Saturday, meaning Q1 could end up forming the grid for the race.

In the meantime, Fabien Foret completes the provisional front for local team Intermoto Step, while Ronan Quarmby was an impressive fifth fastest to head up a second row of Kenan Sofuoglu, Gabor Talmacsi and Andrea Antonelli.

Behind them, Sheridan Morais shrugged off a crash to set the ninth fastest time, while Mathew Scholtz rounded out the top ten in the second of the Bogdanka-backed PTR Hondas.

Further back, Florian Marino's return to WSS action is making steady progress as he ascended to 24th fastest with brand new team MSD R-N India Kawasaki.